Why does the phrase KOL YISRAEL (all Israel) show up where it would normally be B'NAI YISRAEL (children of Israel)? In this book, which begins 36 days before Moshe dies and contains the repetition of the Torah, Moshe is addressing everybody, 2-3 million people, an encampment six miles wide.
Moses is about to speak words of rebuke. Words of rebuke are appropriate at this time of year, when we are in the Three Weeks, Nine Days, Tisha bâAv and leading up to the teshuva of the High Holy Days. It is human nature when we hear words of rebuke to figure out how it really wasnât aimed at us, but in this instance each person accepted the rebuke without protest. Normally when one person rebukes another, there is embarrassment when they meet thereafter, but in this case since Moshe is about to die, that is not a factor. From this we learn that we need to consider how we give rebuke and how rebuke must come from the right person.
Each place mentioned was a place where they did something wrong: Paran (spies), Lavan, which means white, refers to the complaint about eating manna, reference to Korach, gold refers to the Golden Calf. This was a delicate way for Moshe to give rebuke. We should feel love for the person who rebukes us.
The distance between Chorev and Seir was 150 miles. The Israelites did the 11 day journey in three days.
Moshe didnât want to rebuke the Israelites. His last Will and Testament was the Torah. G*d didnât love Asav, so He gave Asav material wealth (Mount Seir); He loved Yaakov, so Yaakov got to be a slave.
Moshe spoke about great victories over two powerful kings. This gave him validity and stature in the eyes of the younger generation.
Moses is not SAYING Torah but EXPLAINING Torah, reminding the people that this is their last chance to ask questions. We derive everything from the Torah already given. Solutions to new problems and questions about inventions are derived from existing halachah.
G*d is closer to us in exile (Galute) than when weâre redeemed (Ge-u-la). Tisha BâAv is the height of Galute. We have no natural understanding as to why there is a Jewish people still in existence. Our existence is a miracle. Israelis take Israel for granted. We will have the closeness of Galute via the Temple. Our closeness with G*d is a pale shadow of what it could be.
Vows are a bad things because they limit tomorrow based on who I am today. Jacob taught that we weâre in extreme trouble we have a greater awareness. Then he can see clearly enough to prepare for tomorrow. It expands who we are to prepare for Rosh HaShanah.
Mordechai Mishory's class on reading and translating the parsha with commentary. If you have any questions or comments about the class, contact Mordechai Mishory at MMISHORY@COMCAST.NET. Mordechai is a psychotherapist, teacher, and spiritual life coach in Denver, Colorado.